The world’s largest food and beverage manufacturer, Nestlé, has opened its first plant-based production facility in Malaysia. In order to cater to the rising demand for plant-based foods, the facility will be the first of its Plant-Based Meal Solutions manufacturing facilities in the ASEAN economic union and one of only two in the whole of Asia.
The new Malaysian facility will supply both local demand as well as exports. The plant has already started production of Nestlé’s successful Harvest Gourmet, a range created for the Asian market which is currently available for food service with the retail range soon to follow. The Sensational Burger and Schnitzel are currently in the range, as well as its chargrilled pieces and ground mince products, with more products in development.
With its location within Nestlé’s Shah Alam Industrial Complex in Selangor, the new production site has an annual production capacity of 8,000 tonnes and is equipped with the latest food processing machinery and highly automated packing lines. The launch was attended by a host of Malaysian dignitaries, and RM150 million has been invested into the facility.
Despite a history of ethical controversies surrounding Nestlé – not to mention court cases with smaller vegan brands – the multinational seems increasingly committed to its plant-based output, with its recent launch into China of the Harvest Gourmet range, its vegan tuna product Vuna, and the impending launch of a vegan version of its classic Kit Kat, to name a few.
“We have chosen Malaysia, and Selangor, as the location of this new manufacturing hub, as we find here the right infrastructure, trade links and access to talent and capabilities. We also build on Nestlé’s 108 years of successful presence in Malaysia. We are confident that with this new facility we will be able to capture the exciting growth opportunity for plant-based products in this region, which is a very important growth priority for the Nestlé Group worldwide,” explained Mr Chris Johnson, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Zone Asia, Oceania and sub-Saharan Africa, Nestlé S.A.